Purchasing officer positions are available in a wide variety of organizations and businesses, ranging from hotels to government agencies to universities. Although job requirements vary by company and position, common requirements include at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. A minimum of five years of experience dealing with contracts and/or purchasing is also needed; most organizations stipulate that at least part of this must have been in a management or supervisory role.
The purchasing officer's daily duties revolve mostly around maintaining stock levels and executing procedures to replenish and purchase items as needed. This requires excellent communication and organizational skills, as individuals in this position must coordinate with multiple divisions and remote locations to determine the needs of each. Purchasing officers must have extensive knowledge of the internal procedures for planning and executing purchases, especially in government jobs where there are strict rules and procedures for this. In many cases, knowledge of relevant government regulations is required in this position as well.
Purchasing officers typically work without frequent direct supervision, but they often have subordinate employees to help perform daily purchasing tasks. The work is mostly be conducted indoors and has minimal physical requirements or hazards. Travel to remote offices and/or remote conferencing may be necessary. Purchasing officers generally work during regular business hours, but some positions may have different shifts.
Purchasing Officer Tasks
Request quotes, solicit bids, and evaluate results to select the appropriate vendors.
Work with users and consumers to meet demands and follow guidelines.
Procure, negotiate, and contract for necessary supplies, goods and materials.
Track inventory and purchases, evaluating vendors.